The alliance agreement for the Turku Music Centre and the purchase order for the project planning phase were signed on Monday 10 January 2022 by the City of Turku and the Harmonia consortium, consisting of Hartela Länsi-Suomi Oy, PES-Architects Ltd and WSP Finland Oy. The Music Centre will be built using the alliance model.

The new concert hall is now the Turku Music Centre

In addition to acting as home for the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, the Turku Music Centre will serve the entire Turku region as a venue for a wide range of high-class national and international events. The name reflects the open and versatile nature of the new centre’s activities.

“I’m excited to see the project progressing. Turku is an important cultural city, and the Music Centre will instil new vitality into the cultural scene in the entire Turku region, as well as strengthening the development of the cultural zone on the Aura River,” says Minna Arve, Mayor of Turku.

Harmonia was selected through competitive tendering

The Harmonia consortium was selected to design and build the Music Centre through a competitive tendering process. The Turku City Council chose the proposal of the Harmonia consortium as winner of the invitation to tender in October 2021.

“Now that the decision is final, it’s time to sign the agreement and move on to the project planning phase,” says Kimmo Suonpää, Director of Urban Construction at the City of Turku and chair of the alliance leadership team.

The new Music Centre will be located by the Aura River on Independence Square between the City Theatre and the Wäinö Aaltonen Museum. The Music Centre will form a natural entity with the City Theatre, creating a new urban plaza between the buildings, where the main entrance to the Music Centre is located.

The competition design was driven by location, function and acoustics.

“Our guiding light was that the building would practically take shape by itself if we follow these basic principles. The location is on the banks of the Aura River, the building will be a workplace for musicians and a venue for the public, and, naturally, a concert hall seeks to provide outstanding acoustics. We realised that by rotating the concert hall in a certain way, the audience flow, hall and landscape would all come together. Rather like the flow of water carves the river bed, the flow of people carves the interior of the building: it is formed by its functions,” explains Tuomas Silvennoinen of PES-Architects, chief designer of the Music Centre.

PES-Architects has built a number of concert halls in China in recent years, and the design team is further strengthened by the lead designer of the Helsinki Music Centre, Marko Kivistö of Laidun-design.

Alliance project model

The Music Centre will be implemented as a project alliance, which, “through innovation, collaboration and efficiency, best supports all parties in achieving the best outcome for the project in all key result areas,” as stated in the alliance agreement. The key result areas are determined on the basis of the client’s goals, set by the City Board. In the case of the Music Centre, these include world-class acoustics, premium customer experience and an inspiring work environment, as well as a low carbon footprint and energy efficiency.

Hartela, the implementing party in the Music Centre project, has prior experience with the City of Turku in an alliance project for the Ypsilon multi-purpose building.

“In an alliance project, a wide range of competencies are secured for the project already at an early stage. This allows specialists in different fields to collaboratively integrate the requirements and goals of the client and users in planning, implementation and cost control. In this fine but challenging project, Hartela’s professionals will have roles in at least project management and implementation as well as in introducing sustainable solutions to the project,“ says Hanna Kolehmainen, Managing Director at Hartela Länsi-Suomi Oy.

“As soon as I saw the notice for the Turku Music Centre alliance competition, I wanted to compile a winning team with a shared goal. PES-Architects’ superior architectural expertise and Hartela’s construction quality, combined with WSP’s global engineering skills and project leadership, will enable the creation of a world-class music centre in Turku. The City of Turku’s user orientation, positive development approach and innovative objective setting provide the best possible starting point for the project,” continues Harri Väänänen, Sector Director at WSP.

Construction aims to start in summer 2023

Construction of the Turku Music Centre could begin in summer 2023. The plan amendment to enable construction is currently under preparation for decision-making in early 2022. The project development phase is also under way, with the project plan to be presented to the City Council in the autumn. The aim is that construction could start in summer 2023 upon completion of the implementation documents.